Today, January 16, the Montana State Prison officially replaced the long-running “Boot Camp” program with a new facility focused on treating drug and alcohol addiction. Department of Corrections Director Reginald D. Michael explains.

"The program is called the Montana State Correctional Treatment Tenter," Michael said. "It really is a unique opportunity and an effort to focus on intensive chemical dependence care for those whose next step from custodial imprisonment is release to community based environments."

The treatment facility received its first group of prisoners on Tuesday.

"The need is significant, but we are starting off fairly slowly," Michael said. "We are opening the facility with a target number of 30 individuals who will be transitioning over today. We see at the height, likely somewhere between 60 and 75 individuals we'll be able to provide this intensive care."

Michael says the need for chemical dependency treatment is big and that a “great proportion” of those incarcerated for crimes have chemical dependency in their background. To give some perspective, the Montana State Prison houses around 1,500 inmates.

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM